Should you be concerned about fungal or bacterial infections from wearing a face mask for too long?
Mom Andrea tells The Doctors her son wears a mask all day at school and expresses concern about the risk of the mask getting infected and inquires about how often a mask should be washed.
Executive medical director at the University of Chicago Medicine Dr. Emily Landon tells us face masks have been worn for hours and hours for a long time by healthcare care workers and says people should not be concerned about fungal or bacterial infections on them.
She goes on to explain that a mask should be washed after being worn for a few hours or more. She also notes once a fabric mask gets wet, it should be swapped for a new mask.
To properly wash your fabric face masks, she recommends using your regular laundry and says to use hot water if possible and then toss in the dryer. She says you can also wash a mask in the sink with hot water and allow it to dry in sunlight, which is a great disinfectant. She also notes when taking off your mask, to fold the side that your mouth and nose have been exposed together to keep those particles from spreading.